Earlier this offseason, Washington’s Nationals announced significant changes to manager Davey Martinez’s coaching staff, with Bench Coach Tim Bogar, Assistant Hitting Coach Pat Roessler, First Base Coach Eric Young, Jr. and Third Base Coach Gary DiSarcina’s contracts not renewed by the team.
In an appearance on the MLB Network, The Athletic’s Britt Ghiroli said the moves were a decision by Martinez to get some new voices on the bench in the nation’s capital.
“[T]his was Dave Martinez wanting some fresh eyes, this was him wanting some different voices,” on his coaching staff, Ghiroli explained on MLB Network’s Foul Territory.
Martinez signed a multi-year extension late this year, as did Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo, who told reporters over the final weekend of the regular season they would get together and make decisions on the staff together as an organization.
“Davey and I will sit down after the season’s over, and we’ll go over that with ownership and make those decisions on what we want to do and who we want to bring back, if any or all,” Rizzo said, as quoted by MLB.com writer Jessica Camerato.
“Those are usually Davey decisions,” Rizzo added, “... but we always have input with it with myself and the front office.”
Earlier this month, multiple reports noted the Nationals were promoting Ricky Gutierrez to third base coach, from his role as a run-prevention coordinator, and Gerardo Parra to first base coach, after he served as a special assistant to the GM once his playing days (which included an integral role on the 2019 World Series championship roster) came to an end.
Now Martinez’s bench coach has reportedly been hired as well:
Miguel Cairo is leaving the Mets organization to become the Nationals bench coach.— Mike Mayer (@mikemayer22) November 7, 2023
He was a minor league infield coordinator with the Mets this year.
Can confirm that Miguel Cairo will be the Nationals’ bench coach next season. @mikemayer22 reported it first.— Andrew Golden (@andrewcgolden) November 7, 2023
Cairo was previously the Mets’ minor league infield coordinator.
Miguel Cairo will be Nats’ new bench coach, source confirms. Was Mets’ minor league infield coordinator this year, previously White Sox’s bench coach and interim manager. Davey Martinez has always spoken highly of him. (First reported by @mikemayer22)— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) November 7, 2023
Cairo, 49, played 17 season in the majors, including three as Martinez’s teammate in Tampa Bay in 1998-2000, wrapping up his playing career in ‘12, then moving into a front office job with the Reds, for whom he served as a bench coach for a time.
Cairo worked in the Yankees’ organization in player development, and in 2020 joined Tony LaRussa’s staff as the bench coach with the White Sox, managing for a time when LaRussa had health issues. He received consideration as a potential manager in Chicago, but didn’t get the job.
Now he’ll reportedly reunite with Martinez and become the Nationals’ new bench coach...
Cairo confirmed the new gig in an interview in Venezuela, where he has been serving as the manager for the Navegantes del Magallanes this winter, telling the Líder en Deportes‘ writer Edward Chappellin joining Martinez’s staff is an exciting opportunity:
“I will be a bench coach for the Washington Nationals. And I am very happy to be the right hand of manager Dave Martínez, a good friend of mine. I will also be a coworker of [Catching & Strategy Coach] Henry Blanco, Gerardo Parra and [Bullpen Coach] Ricky Bones. We are going to have a team with many Latin coaches. And it’s good because they are not taking it into account in the MLB.”
What do you make of the staff Martinez is assembling?